Ipswich: Squash coach who assaulted woman walks free from court

A PROFESSIONAL squash coach who put his hands round a woman’s neck and punched her, has walked free from court after a judge accepted he had acted “out of character”.

The woman had been attempting to put pills in her mouth when Martin Levens put his hands round her throat and then punched her in the head and back, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

When the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told Levens she needed to go to hospital, he had refused to take her and told her to make her own way there, Andrew Shaw, prosecuting, said.

The woman, who was suffering from concussion, had been unable to unlock her car and had been sick.

On another occasion Levens, who worked at Ipswich Sports Club in Henley Road, Ipswich, had tried to get some tablets out of the woman’s mouth and had bitten her on the cheek and had repeatedly punched her head and upper body, Mr Shaw said.


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Levens, 47, of no fixed address, admitted assaulting the woman causing her actual bodily harm and putting the woman in fear of violence.

He was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years. He was also made the subject of a restraining order and ordered to pay �1,200 compensation to his victim and �1,200 prosecution costs.

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The prosecution offered no evidence on a charge of rape, which Levens denied, and a not guilty verdict was entered on the court record.

An offence of assault causing actual bodily harm which Levens also denied was left on the court file.

Sentencing him, Judge Rupert Overbury said although the offences were serious and crossed the custody threshold he felt able to suspend the prison sentence because Levens was of “exemplary good character” and had acted out of character.

He said he had read many references which described him as “even tempered, caring and considerate”.

He said Levens was respected by the young people he had coached and in the past he had worked as a carer for disabled and young people.

Kate Mallison, for Levens, said her client had acted on the spur of the moment .

She said it was not suggested the victim of the offences had done anything to justify being assaulted and the offences had been committed after Levens started having financial problems.

Miss Mallison said Levens would have the stain on his character of the offences for the rest of his life, but had managed to get work as a coach in the private sector.

jane.hunt@eadt.co.uk

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